Baseball / Sports

In battle of young pitchers, Orioles beat Rays 5-2

BALTIMORE -- In a battle of minor league pitchers promoted for the afternoon game of Friday's day-night doubleheader, the Tampa Bay Rays' Alex Colome bested the Orioles' Kevin Gausman.

And it wasn't even close. Behind their right-hander, the Rays cruised to a 5-2 win in front of an announced 15,614 at Camden Yards.

Colome (1-0), who has spent much of the season with Triple-A Durham, flummoxed the Orioles after a shaky first inning. In his first major league start of the year, the right-hander allowed just two hits and exited with a four-run lead in the sixth.

Meanwhile, Gausman -- who was called up as the club's 26th man for the doubleheader opener and was to be sent back down before the nightcap -- didn't produce a single clean inning before being pulled after surrendering consecutive doubles to lead off the sixth. He was tagged for five runs, allowing seven hits and issuing a season-high four walks on 95 pitches (50 strikes).

The Rays got to Gausman (3-2) early, scoring twice in the second inning on left fielder Brandon Guyer's double and a single by Matt Joyce through a drawn-in infield.

They added a run with two outs in the fourth when No. 9 hitter Jose Molina, who was previously 2-for-35 with runners in scoring position, blooped a flare that landed in shallow right field. Joyce's RBI double off the center-field wall in the sixth ended Gausman's afternoon.

Though the right-hander didn't get much help from his offense, which scored in the first inning and then managed just one more hit on Colome, catcher Caleb Joseph caught two stealing to improve to 12-for-24 throwing out base runners this year.

The major league average for throwing out runners is 27 percent.

Manny Machado connected for two of the Orioles' three hits on the afternoon. In the seventh inning, the third baseman turned on reliever Brad Boxberger's 0-1 slider and blasted it deep to left field for his fifth home run of the season and his first since June 6.

The rest of the Orioles' lineup went 1-for-26.

First baseman Chris Davis' groundout into the shift gave the Orioles a brief lead in the first inning. Right fielder Nick Markakis jogged home for Davis' 41st RBI of the year.

Davis also walked in the fourth and sixth innings, but designated hitter Nelson Cruz stranded him both times with a double play and three-pitch strikeout, respectively.

Right-hander Evan Meek, who was called up from Triple-A Norfolk after Bud Norris' move to the 15-day disabled list Friday with a strained right groin, pitched the sixth and seventh innings. He allowed an inherited runner to score but was otherwise perfect, lowering his ERA to 5.52.

Meek was aided by an umpire review that ruled Ben Zobrist was out at first base on a play in which the right-hander slipped while covering first base. The Orioles improved to 8-for-15 on video reviews.

Reliever Brad Brach made quick work of the Rays in the eighth and ninth, but Jake McGee silenced the Orioles' floundering offense to seal the game for his second save of the season.

(c)2014 The Baltimore Sun

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